Trip report #5: Oslo University College, Research Council, American Chamber of Commerce

Wow, what a fast week. Our umbrellas worked overtime during our last few days in Oslo, and I arrived back in Minnesota on Sunday. This trip was productive far beyond expectation and hope. There is tremendous enthusiasm for the NPPF from Norwegian businesses, governmental agencies, and colleges and universities. We discovered energy and creative ideas everywhere we went and with everyone we met. Over the course of the week, two very interesting themes emerged, which we’ll be thinking about over the summer.

How is peace good for business?

How can scientific research and researchers influence the prospects for peace?

What are your thoughts on these themes? How should we integrate them with the 2012 Forum?

Our last round of meetings included dynamic conversations with three more organizations:

Highlights included:

  • Strengthening research & development of peace-related initiatives, especially transcultural activities
  • The Norwegian government’s strategic priority of international cooperation, in collaboration with the Research Council
  • The great potential for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum to reach new and broader audiences (especially in business and science) in Minnesota and beyond
  • Potential forum workshop topic: “Researchers and research as instruments to advance peace and reduce instability”
  • The potential role of NPPF in Norway’s emerging North American research strategies, via support for student attendance/participation in the NPPF and institutional start-up relationships
  • How we might study the effectiveness of the new NPPF through innovative research methodologies

[photo credit: Håvar og Solveig on Flickr]

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One Response to Trip report #5: Oslo University College, Research Council, American Chamber of Commerce

  1. Steve Sheppard says:

    In her update, Dr. Reed raised the question about how peace could be good for business. It’s a good question, but I think a more pertinent way to ask it is, “How can business be good for peace?” Business can and ought to lead the drive for peace, otherwise it is not fulfilling its charge, or at least here in the U.S. Business was originally granted its protections and special status so that it would strengthen the social fabric for the good of all.

    An exploration of Muhammad Yunus’ concept of social business (Creating A World Without Poverty) provides some very interesting and workable ideas concerning the connection between business and peace. While Dr. Yunus was the honoree at the Forum several years ago, the focus on his work at that time was microlending; his notion of social business is a newer concept and one which has not received as much attention. It might be an idea which the Forum could explore if it seeks to examine the relationship between peace and business.

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